Steering Committee

Board of Directors

Michelle Canelo

President
Current Position: Legal Director for Central America & Colombia
Company: Cargill

MICHELLE CANELO - AAECMichelle is an adept Lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in the field; she holds a Master degree in Business Administration. She currently works as the Legal Director for Cargill in Central America and Colombia, leading a high performing team responsible for all legal matters, except tax, for all businesses in that region, as well as for other businesses in Peru and Ecuador. She has recently added to her responsibility being the Group Lead Lawyer for the Protein Business in Latin America. Michelle has expertise in business and corporate law, specializing in all legal matters related to business operations in the food and feed industry.

Throughout her career Michelle has been motivated to create a positive impact with her team members, every company and business she works with, being recognized for her thought leadership and business partnering skills. She enjoys helping organizations align their legal needs to their vision, values and strategy; also, identifying and managing opportunities to improve legal structures and legal service delivery models. She also has a passion for mentoring women and men inside and out of the legal profession.

With that same spirit, Michelle decided to help found the AAEC to provide Central America in-house lawyers with a formal and trusted space for collaboration and knowledge sharing. She is hopeful that this association has made a big positive impact and will continue to do so, in the lives of her peers by enabling them to grow and thrive as professionals.

Professional Philosophy: Be intentional and strategic in everything you do!

DANIEL PÉREZ UMAÑA

VICE PRESIDENT
Current Position: CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Company: BAC | CREDOMATIC

DANIEL PÉREZ UMAÑA - AAECBeing a musician at heart, Daniel has found a way to leverage his innate creativity and adaptability to enhance his roles as strategic advisor, legal-architect and solution finder. He is a shrewd attorney with over 15 years of experience primarily in corporate and financial law and has proven expertise within Central America, the Caribbean and other Latin American jurisdictions. For the past 9 years he has been the Chief Legal Officer and an Executive Director in most BAC|Credomatic entities (Central America’s leading Financial Group with operations in 10 jurisdictions), where he proudly leads a team of outstanding attorneys. Before joining BAC, he received a BCL/MJur degree from Oxford University, an LL.M. from Harvard Law School and worked as a partner at LatamLex and as a law professor at the University of Costa Rica.

He has been involved with the Association of Corporate Counsel (“ACC”) for almost a decade and has served in the Advisory Board for the ACC’s GC Summit since its inception in 2015; therefore, he eagerly joined the AAEC to help promote collaboration and cooperation among the in-house community in Central America as a way fostering the professional excellence, ethical standards and well-being of its members.

In addition to his work as an attorney, Daniel has been involved with several startups, is an avid hiker and firmly believes in the importance of social responsibility and mindfulness for personal and professional success.

Professional Philosophy: Mindfulness is critical to become a truly accomplished individual; to be high-functioning, empathetic and focused leaders we must first take proper care of ourselves, be fully rooted in the present and be conscious about our purpose and our values.

Ronald RamÍrez

SECRETARY
Current Position: NORTH LATIN AMERICA LEGAL LEAD
Company: HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE

Ronald RamÍrez - AAECRonald is a skilled lawyer with 15 years of experience in the field and expertise in international corporate law and cross-border transactions. He started his career in a boutique law firm in Costa Rica and is currently working as the Central American Regional Legal Counsel for the multinational information technology company Hewlett Packard. Ronald enjoys being a lawyer because he loves the challenge of untangling complex problems and having the power to influence strategic decisions in the firms he works with.
Ronald joined the AAEC because he recognizes the power of the collective over the individual. He acknowledges that isolation stunts the potential growth of the in-house legal sector in Central America and that that growth will only come with continuous interaction and knowledge-sharing. He hopes that in the future AAEC will become the foremost association for in-house lawyers related to Central America.

Professional Philosophy: It’s OK to have your head in the clouds as long as you don’t forget to keep your feet on the ground.

Paola Fonseca Rojas

TREASURER
Current Position: Head of Governance for Iberia-Latam
Company: TMF Group

PAOLA FONSECA ROJAS - AAECPaola is the Head of Governance for Iberia-Latam at TMF Group, a global provider of business services to companies operating and investing globally. She has practiced law for 15 years and has expertise in various legal areas, mostly corporate law. Paola has an MBA and a post-MBA from INCAE Business School and CEIBS (Chinese European Business Institute, Shanghai), along with other certifications from the University of Cambridge.
Paola is also a PHD Candidate at University for Peace, Board Member of the International Association for Human Values (Costa Rica Branch) and the Costa Rican Executive Committee of the Women in the Profession Program (Vance Center, New York).
In her own words, “I joined the AAEC inspired to contribute to the legal community in Central America, specially to remember the highest ethical values of our profession”
She often participates as a speaker and is an avid writer; mostly in the Corporate Governance field. Paola’s passion is writing fiction, she studied Creative Writing at the University of Oxford and has published her novels and short stories.

Professional Philosophy: Knowledge is not wisdom; but the more we know, the wiser we can become.

Rennatto Tible Marroquin

BOARD MEMBER I
Current Position: In-house Legal Counsel
Company: The Pantaleon Group Inc.

RENNATTO TIBLE MARROQUIN - AAECRennatto started in the legal field 7 years ago and has since worked in the banking sector, a prestigious Guatemalan law firm and a U.S. bankruptcy court before his current position. Through his various positions, Rennatto has accumulated expertise in areas including: mergers & acquisitions, corporate governance, corporate finance, and conflict management and resolution.

Rennatto is an individual with strong ethical conviction; he highlights lawyers’ role as “guardians of the rule of law” as the core motivator for his involvement in the legal profession. Rennatto enjoys helping his company and its business units employ the law to achieve their objectives “because that has a subsequent indirect positive impact on their employees, their families and the greater communities in which they operate.” It is this same mentality that prompted Rennatto to help form AAEC.  Rennatto sees AAEC as a tool for the in-house community to more effectively share information, analyze pertinent issues and defend its interests, which he believes will ultimately help strengthen the rule of law in the region.

Professional Philosophy: Be conscious, responsible, present and intentional in life.

ALVARO RUBÉN LEONARDO MORALES

BOARD MEMBER II
Current Position: Legal & Corporate Affairs Manager
Company: Jaguar Energy Guatemala LLC

ALVARO RUBÉN LEONARDO MORALES - AAECÁlvaro has practiced law for 10 years, his main areas of legal practice include energy, natural resources, corporate law and conflict resolution. He advises companies across Central America and Mexico.

Professional Philosophy: It’s all about perseverance and hard work.

Guillermo Davalos Meric

BOARD MEMBER III
Current Position: Legal Vice President for Mexico and Central America
Company: Swiss Re

Guillermo Davalos Meric Being a lawyer runs in Guillermo’s blood as his family has a rich history in the legal profession. He became involved in the world of laws early on as a student and his interest increased as the years went on. Today Guillermo is a seasoned lawyer with over 20 years experience in the industry primarily working in the European insurance and reinsurance markets. During his trajectory Guillermo has worked with M&L studio legal and Swiss Brokers Mexico and is currently acting as Legal Vice President for Mexico and Central America at Swiss Re. His areas of expertise are in corporate law, maritime law, and insurance and reinsurance law.

Guillermo became involved with AAEC from its inception. Through his professional experiences he has understood the complexity of the diverse regulatory environments of the Central American region and in turn has understood the importance of networking and consistent knowledge sharing among professionals in the in-house legal industry. Through AAEC Guillermo hopes to work with other in-house lawyers to one day achieve regionalization of the commercial regulatory environment.

Professional Philosophy: Always support others so that they can get the justice they deserve.

ANGELA MENDIETA ARROYO

COMPTROLLER
Current Position: LEGAL DIRECTOR
Company: INCAE Bussiness School

ANGELA MENDIETA ARROYOAngela has more than 20 years of experience in the corporate field. She has held different positions in various industries, allowing her to have a systemic vision of companies and to advise them assertively. She is currently the Legal Director of INCAE Bussiness School, the Business School located in # 1 MBA and Executive MBA in Latin America. She is in charge of the 5 countries of Central America and 3 countries in South America. Angela is a lawyer and notary, has an MBA and Postgraduate degree in HR, Marketing and Finance.

Angela is a justice and democracy lover. Her values guide her to do what is right. We are called to protect the institutions of our countries, building and developing clear rules that allow our companies and society to operate and grow.

Angela joined AAEC inspired to build bridges and build solutions together, as well as build capacities for thought and reflection, and grow collectively.

Professional Philosophy: Falling is allowed, getting up is mandatory.